Friday, March 27, 2015

Finding the Distinction: Personal Statements vs. Cover Letters

What is the difference between a cover letter and a personal statement?

A personal statement is exactly what it says, it's "personal". It tells a personal story about you and how you have gotten to where you are today. It may consist of why you want to be a doctor, social worker, teacher, lawyer or accountant. The story has to be compelling it should keep the reader interested. It may also explain why you want the reader to know these things about you. Convince them to choose you!

A cover letter may have the same elements but you need to link your story to the job in which you are applying. Make sure the employer can envision you doing the job, give clear and concrete examples of your work.  

Common denominators between a personal statement and cover letter:
  • Keep readers interest
  • Explain yourself
  • Set yourself apart.

There a lot overlap but vast differences.  Make sure your cover letter is not too personal but has aspects of your personality. Either way make sure you put your best foot forward. And if you need an unbiased eye to look over your personal statement or cover letter, remember the Career Center is here to help! Give us a call at (516) 463-6060 to make an appointment or stop by our Quick Question hours Monday-Friday 10-11AM & 2-4PM.

Lorraine Massiah,
Assistant Director

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